At the end of the day, NFL fans can bemoan the lack of competent quarterback play on their team.
They can second-guess whether the head coach is truly putting his team in the best position to win.
Fans can criticize the general manager for not being more aggressive in bringing players to fill a roster weakness.
Despite all of those common and reasonable gripes, there’s usually one thing that won’t change regardless of how loud the chirping gets.
The owner of the team cannot be released, or have their contract elapse.
For better or for worse, NFL owners are usually a part of a fan’s life for at least a decade.
When the realization kicks in that your owner is likely not putting the organization in the best position to win, it can put a damper on a city for generations of fans.
Let’s take a look at the three worst owners in the NFL today.
3. Dean Spanos
He’s somewhat of a sneaky addition to this list, over the likes of the Cincinnati Bengals’ Mike Brown, or the Ford family who has owned the Detroit Lions for generations.
But Dean Spanos has not had a good run in recent memory, even though the Los Angeles Chargers’ product on the field has been respectable.
For many years, he flirted with other markets to see if he could relocate a team that had been a mainstay in San Diego for five decades.
It seemed like a given for many years that the Chargers might be playing their last game at Qualcomm Stadium, casting a shadow of uncertainty over each home game.
Finally, before the 2017 season, Spanos made the long-awaited move, transitioning his team up the coast to Los Angeles.
Since then, the team has played their home games in a glorified soccer stadium, and has had trouble establishing a foothold in Los Angeles.
No fans were allowed at SoFi stadium last year, but if the Chargers can’t attract support to their new home this year, it will be a huge indictment on Spanos’ decision.
Unique. Loud. Intimate. Fan-friendly
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) August 15, 2017
2. Woody Johnson
On the surface, Woody Johnson doesn’t profile as a terrible owner.
He’s usually willing to spend money, largely stays out of the way of football operations, and doesn’t put himself ahead of the on-field product.
Unfortunately for Johnson, the track record of hires he has made since he bought the team in 2000 has not been great.
His tenure got off to an unfortunate start, as Bill Belichick was slated to coach the team, but eventually backed out to take the New England Patriots job.
Ever since then, Johnson has been searching for his long-term answer at head coach.
Hiring and eventually firing the likes of Eric Mangini, Todd Bowles, and Adam Gase has not endeared Johnson to a fan base in the largest market in the country.
Johnson was away for the team during the Donald Trump presidency on ambassadorial duties, but is now back with a hope that the team can finally turn it around.
Practice last week pic.twitter.com/BQRZf5BgoY
— Woody Johnson (@woodyjohnson4) June 14, 2021
1. Daniel Snyder
It’s unfortunate for fans of the Washington Football Team, but Daniel Snyder has owned the franchise for over two decades, and there’s no end in sight.
In addition to a shoddy record on the field since Snyder has been in control, there have been a number of unbecoming decisions that have led to embarrassment in the nation’s capital.
He has tried to make the splashy hire or sexy signing on multiple occasions, and it has never really worked out.
Steve Spurrier and Mike Shanahan generated a lot of buzz when they were brought on, but ultimately didn’t last long.
Washington also threw big money at Albert Haynesworth before the 2009 season, which was a colossal swing and a miss.
Snyder also signed off on a policy in 2009 banning fans from bringing signs, which fans believe was designed to muzzle their displeasure with the franchise.
No matter how you slice it, Snyder has been one of the worst owners in the NFL, and in professional sports.